ZABITA, s. Hind. from Ar. zabita. An exact rule, a canon, but in the following it seems to be used for a tariff of assessment:

1799.—“I have established the Zabeta for the shops in the Fort as fixed by Macleod. It is to be paid annually.”—Wellington, i. 49.

ZAMORIN, s. The title for many centuries of the Hindu sovereign of Calicut and the country round. The word is Malayal. Samutiri, Samuri, Tamatiri, Tamuri, a tadbhava (or vernacular modification) of Skt. Samundri, ‘the Sea-King.’ (See also Wilson, Mackenzie MSS. i. xcvii.) [Mr. Logan (Malabar, iii. Gloss. s.v.) suggests that the title Samudri is a translation of the Raja’s ancient Malayal. title of Kunnalakkon, i.e. ‘King (kon) of the hills (kunnu) and waves (ala).’ The name has recently become familiar in reference to the curious custom by which the Zamorin was attacked by one of the candidates for his throne (see the account by A. Hamilton (ed. 1744, i. 309 seq. Pinkerton, viii. 374) quoted by Mr. Frazer (Golden Bough, 2nd ed. ii. 14 seq.).]

c. 1343.—“The sultan is a Kafir called the Samari. … When the time of our departure for China came, the sultan, the Samari equipped for us one of the 13 junks which were lying in the port of Calicut.”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 89–94.

1442.—“I saw a man with his body naked like the rest of the Hindus. The sovereign of this city (Calicut) bears the title of Samari. When he dies it is his sister’s son who succeeds him.”—Abdurrazzak, in India in the XVth. Cent. 17.

1498.—“First Calicut whither we went.…The King whom they call Camolim (for Çamorim) can muster 100,000 men for war, with the contingents that he receives, his own authority extending to very few.”—Roteiro de Vasco da Gama.

1510.—“Now I will speak of the King here in Calicut, because he is the most important King of all those before mentioned, and is called Samory, which in the Pagan language means God on earth.”—Varthema, 134. The traveller confounds the word with tamburan, which does mean ‘Lord.’ [Forbes (see below) makes the same mistake.]

1516.—“This city of Calicut is very large.…This King became greater and more powerful than all the others: he took the name of Zomodri, which is a point of honour above all other Kings.”—Barbosa, 103.

[1552.—“Samarao.” See under CELEBES.]

1553.—“The most powerful Prince of this Malebar was the King of Calecut, who par excellence was called Camarij, which among them is as among us the title Emperor.”—Barros, I. iv. 7.

[1554.—Speaking of the Moluccas, “Camarao, which in their language means Admiral.”—Castanheda, Bk. vi. ch. 66.]

“I wrote him a letter to tell him…”that, please God, in a short time the imperial fleet would come from Egypt to the Samari, and deliver the country from the hands of the infidels.”—Sidi ’Ali, p. 83. [Vambéry, who in his translation betrays a remarkable ignorance of Indian geography, speaks (p. 24) of “Samiri, the ruler of Calcutta, by which he means Calicut.”]

1563.—“And when the King of Calecut (who has for title Samorim or Emperor) besieged Cochin.…”—Garcia, f. 58b.


“Sentado o Gama junto ao rico leito
Os seus mais affastados, prompto em vista
Estava o Samori no trajo, e geyto
Da gente, nunca dantes delle vista.”

Camões, vii. 59.

By Burton:

“When near that splendid couch took place the guest
and others further off, prompt glance and keen
the Samorin cast on folk whose garb and gest
were like to nothing he had ever seen.”

1616.—Under this year there is a note of a Letter from Underecoon-Cheete the Great Samorin or K. of Calicut to K. James.—Sainsbury, i. 462.

1673.—“Indeed it is pleasantly situated under trees, and it is the Holy See of their Zamerhin or Pope.”—Fryer, 52.

1781.—“Their (the Christians’) hereditary privileges were respected by the Zamorin himself.”—Gibbon, ch. xlvii.

1785.—A letter of Tippoo’s applies the term to a tribe or class, speaking of ‘2000 Samories’; who are these?—Select Letters, 274.

1787.—“The Zamorin is the only ancient sovereign in the South of India.”—T. Munro, in Life, i. 59.

1810.—“On our way we saw one of the Zamorim’s houses, but he was absent at a more favoured residence of Paniany.”—Maria Graham, 110.

[1814.—“The King of Calicut was, in the Malabar language, called Samory, or Zamorine, that is to say, God on the earth.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. i. 263. See quotation above from Varthema.]

„ “… nor did the conqueror (Hyder Ali) take any notice of the Zamorine’s complaints and supplications. The unfortunate prince, after fasting three days, and finding all remonstrance vain, set fire to his palace, and was burned, with some of his women and their brahmins.”—Ibid. iv. 207–8; [2nd ed. ii. 477]. This

  By PanEris using Melati.

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